RPW Column: Krummel (2), LaBagh Win OCFS Triple Crown Races: Brian Krummel Overall Champ

Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – It was the OCFS Arkel Motors Sportsman division’s turn to have the big stage on a Saturday night as they competed in the Wolf 97.7 97.3 Triple Crown three 20 lap features format.

As the final checkered flag flew on the busy night, it was Brian Krummel taking two feature wins and the overall event championship. Jared LaBagh won the other feature and was runner up to Krummel in the overall points. Bobby Flood finished 3rd in the overall points.

Joe Conklin and Cody Higbie comprised the front row as feature #1 got underway. Conklin led the first 3 laps before Joe Bonetti moved into the lead on lap 4. Higbie passed Conklin for 2nd on lap 8 as Krummel was mired in traffic, but gradually moving up from his 12th starting spot. At halfway, it was Bonetti leading Higbie, Conklin, Lem Atkins and Jake Bedell.

A lap later, Krummel moved past Bedell into 5th and the next lap passed Atkins for 4th. A lap later, he went by Conklin for 3rd. Krummel starting running down the leaders as Bonetti had caught up to lapped traffic. Brian passed Higbie on lap 18 and got by Bonetti on lap 19 and took the checkered flag 1.2 seconds ahead of Bonetti. Higbie was 3rd with Jeff Hulseapple 4th and Bedell 5th. Sixth thru 10th were LaBagh, Flood, Conklin, Gary Edwards Jr and Josh Allen.

“The outside came in quite well for me,” said Krummel in Victory Lane after win #1. “We were in traffic and I wasn’t sure where the leader was. We are racing very well this year. I still love racing no matter what division it’s in.”

Krummel became the first driver to claim the back-to-back bonus money from Wicked Truck Worx by backing up his win from May 22.

Before departing Victory Lane, Krummel drew #15 as the number of cars inverted for feature #2.

Jordan Lawrence and Dan Maher were the front row for feature #2. It was Lawrence leading with Tanner VanDoren taking chase after passing Maher on lap 2. Lawrence moved out to a good lead until the caution flag flew on lap 7 for BobJashembowski with a flat. On the restart, Allen moved past Maher into 3rd. At halfway, Lawrence led VanDoren, Allen, Maher and LaBagh, who had just cracked the top 5.

LaBagh was quickly making his way to the front, passing Allen, VanDoren and Lawrence in successive laps and in control on lap 14 LaBagh checked out as Lawrence, VanDoren and Allen battled to maintain their positions. At the finish, it was LaBagh taking the win by 4 seconds over VanDoren, who just nipped Lawrence on the final turn. Allen finish 4th and Maher was 5th. Krummel moved from 15th spot to take 6th with Edwards Jr 7th, Flood 8th, Bedell 9th and Hulseapple 10th.

“I tried my best, I didn’t think I could make it here this race,” LaBagh said in Victory Lane. “We were lucky to find some speed on the middle to the outside.”

With two races in the books, Krummel and LaBagh each had recorded a win and a 6th, leaving them tied in the overall points. LaBagh drew #11 for the invert for the final 20.

The front row for the final 20 saw Bonetti and Hulseapple on the front row. The red flag flew on the start as quite a few cars piled up entering turn one. Pat Mann, Ed Owens, Higbie, Tom Burakowski and Jimmy Devitt involved with Mann and Owens getting a tow off. VanDoren pulled into the pits with what was reported as rear suspension issues.

Bedell, from 3rd spot, took the lead and led for 3 laps until 6th starting Krummel took over on lap 4. Flood moved into 2nd on lap 7 when caution flew 7. On the restart, another red flag flew for a second 1st turn pileup involving John Bockhorn, Jeff Higham, Higbie, Jashembowski, Atkins and Daniel Morgiewicz Jr. No injuries reported with the two red flags.

On the restart, LaBagh continue moving towards the front as Krummel drove away from Flood. At halfway, it was Krummel leading Flood, Edwards Jr, Bedell and LaBagh. LaBagh got by both Bedell and Edwards Jr before caution waved again on lap 13.

On the restart, LaBagh took 2nd and was able to stay close to Krummel for a couple of laps before Brian started to stretch out the lead. At the checkers, it was Krummel taking his 2nd win of the night by 2 1/2 seconds over Labagh with Flood 3rd. Matt Shultz had a strong run from 13th starting spot to finish 4th with Edwards Jr finishing 5th. Allen, Maher, Bonetti, Bedell and Charles Loiodice rounded out the top 10 finishers.

“I have to thank Teo. I haven’t touched the car all year,” said Krummel after victory #2. “Just a few minor adjustments. We prepare hard, but the chassis has been right on the money. It was a good format tonight. We came up through the pack on the first race. When you hit that sweet spot, you can make it happen I have to thank the track for putting together the contingency money and to Wicked Truck Worx for the bonus money.”

Krummel received $500 for taking the Triple Crown Championship with LaBagh getting $300 and Flood $100. Each driver will also receive a Hoosier Tire.

Heat race wins went to LaBagh, Flood, Krummel, Hulseapple and Bonetti. VanDoren won the consi.

In the Precision Hydraulic and Oil Rookie Sportsman, Dylan Madsen’s excellent season continued as repeated his victory from May 27 by taking win over Michael Giuliano and Nick Giardini. By winning, Madsen claimed the 2nd back-to-back bonus from Wicked Truck Worx on Saturday night.

Giardini jumped out to the lead at the start and led the first 6 laps before the caution came out. Giuliano took the lead on the restart with Madsen moving to 2nd on lap 11 and began to move in on the lead. Coming to 2 to go, Madsen made the pass on the outside of Giuliano and went on to win by a margin of nearly 2 seconds. Giardini finished 3rd with Tyler Banks 4th and Kasey Hufcut 5th. Mike Mikulski finished 6th, Matt Fairchild 7th, Kevin Murphy 8th, Thor Holmgren 9th and Fred Pavia 10th.

“I love this track, it’s really smooth and they give me a great car every week,” Madsen said in Victory Lane.

In the NAPA North East Parts Group Street Stocks, it was Mike Vigiletti taking a close victory over Jim Hajkowski and Ryan Modiano.

Charlie Donald and Ron Constable led the field to the green flag with Donald jumping to the lead. Dillon Gannon made his way to the lead on a lap 4 restart as Walt Henry, Bob Sleight and Vigiletti were in a tight group. Gannon got a left front flat on lap 6 while leading.

Henry and Sleight swapped the lead for 4 straight laps until Sleight dropped out on lap 10. This put Vigiletti in the lead with Hajkowski 2nd and Henry 3rd. After 14 were down, the caution waved again setting up a one lap sprint to the finish. Vigiletti held on to take the win by 1/3 of a second over Hajkowski with Modiano passing Henry for 3rd. Henry finished 4th with Constable 5th and Donald 6th.

“I thought it was over when the yellow came out, it was a rough race,” said Vigiletti. “I think Bob broke, I didn’t want to see that, I wanted to race him. Every car out here is fast now, anyone can win on any night. That’s what makes it fun in this class.”

Racing returns to OCFS on June 12 as the always popular Nostalgia Night makes it’s return after a year off due to Covid. The United Rentals DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds will be in action along with the Sportsman.

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